Tacoma police officers will be out in force around the city’s schools as students, parents and the neighborhoods slide back into their school year routines.
Motorcycle officers will be making sure traffic moves smoothly around the schools, community liaison and school resource officers will be looking for students and nonstudents who are being disruptive, and transit officers will be reminding teens about proper bus conduct.
The stepped-up enforcement began Thursday morning, coinciding with the first day of classes for Tacoma Public Schools. The police presence will continue today and then resume Tuesday and Wednesday.
Police spokesman Mark Fulghum reported no major problems with the start of the school year Thursday morning.
This is the third year for the police department’s start-of-school enforcement plan. Officers work with the school district and Pierce Transit to provide a visible presence, reduce traffic-related issues and provide a sense of security as teachers, students and staff head back to class, the department reported.
“This is to make sure the transition from summer vacation back to the school setting is as seamless as possible,” Fulghum said. “We want to remind students that we are there watching out for them.”
Officers, most of whom are working their regular shifts, will be visible before and after school at the elementary, middle and high schools, though their focus at each will be different.
At the elementary schools, 16 traffic officers will make sure that parents are dropping off and picking up their students at the designated areas. They’ll also make sure that the bus lanes remain open for buses.
At the middle schools, 10 community liaison officers will patrol the main student entrances. They’ll look for people who are being disruptive.
The five school resource officers will be stationed at their assigned high schools. They’ll walk around the main student entrances and bus stops, looking for disruptive behavior and addressing any problems.
In addition, Pierce Transit’s police officers will be reminding students of the “Not on Our Bus” campaign to improve conduct and limit disruptions on buses and at transit center.
Members of Tacoma’s gang unit will be on duty and able to respond quickly for gang – or suspected gang – activity around the high schools.
Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/crime